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I've noticed that a few creatures have the "titan" tag (here's a D&D Beyond search) but I'm not sure what that tag means.

I noticed the other day in my Monster Manual when looking at the Empyrean and wondered if it had anything to do with titans of Greek mythology (since that's what the Empyrean makes me think of) - but then the Tarrasque is also listed as a titan, so there goes that theory.

I wondered also if it's to do with their size, since the Tarrasque is extra big, even for a Gargantuan-sized creature, but then the the Empyrean and a few others are only Huge, not Gargantuan, so that doesn't make sense either.

I have not seen this tag defined in the Monster Manual, only a small section on "tags" (link to basic rules, listed below all the creature types) that basically says that tags don't mean anything. But even if there are no "rules" about titans, the term must still mean something, like how the "demon" or "shapeshifter" tags still mean something in-universe, at least.

Have I missed something? Although I accept that there are no "rules" about titans, there must still be mention of it somewhere as to how a "titan" creature is different from a non-titan creature. Is there any other official description of what this tag means?

What does the "titan" monster tag mean?

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The DMG provides insight: they are divine creations.

The DMG states on page 11 (emphasis not mine):

Quasi-deities have a divine origin, but they don't hear or answer prayers, grant spells to clerics, or control aspects of mortal life. They are still immensely powerful beings, and in theory they could ascend to godhood if they amassed enough worshipers. Quasi-deities fall into three subcategories: demigods, titans, and vestiges.

[...]

Titans are the divine creations of deities. They might be birthed from the union of two deities, manufactured on a divine forge, born from the blood spilled by a god, or otherwise brought about through divine will or substance.

Examples for titans (or rather: all that are currently published) are the Empyrean, Kraken, Tarrasque (all MM), Astral Dreadnaught (MToF), Slarkrethel (Storm King's Thunder), Atropal (Tomb of Annihilation) and Juvenile Kraken (Ghosts Of Saltmarsh).


I'm not aware of any mechanical implications of being or interacting with a titan, except that you're probably gonna have a bad day if you mess with them. But then again, if you fight gigantic monsters like a Tarrasque, it's kind of on you if you get crushed ^^


If your DM allows it, you might also be able to choose titans as your Favored Enemy if you're playing a ranger. RAW it wouldn't work, but it's similar to how you can choose two types of humanoids as favored enemies, so - considering the scarcity of titans - it wouldn't be too far-fetched to allow it. For example, your DM could allow you to switch out one of the humanoid races against titans, so you could, for example, have Orcs and Titans as your Favored Enemies.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Insert Hulk's "But big monster" quote here... \$\endgroup\$ – Lux Claridge Jun 12 at 15:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ Both answers are great, but I've decided to go with this one because it was slightly before the other, and because I found the larger quote helpful, but really, these are arbitrary reasons for two equally good answers. \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Jun 13 at 7:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS thanks! I've also added a paragraph about the ranger's Favored Enemy feature. \$\endgroup\$ – PixelMaster Jun 13 at 9:08
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The "titan" tag indicates a creature with divine origins

The Dungeon Master's Guide has a sidebar that briefly explores "divine ranks" on page 11, which says of titans:

Titans are the divine creations of deities. They might be birthed from the union of two deities, manufactured on a divine forge, born from the blood spilled by a god, or otherwise brought about through divine will or substance.

So the titan tag simply denotes a creature which was directly created by or from a deity in some way.

It seems like this designation doesn't necessarily extend to descendants of such a creature - Rocs, for instance, are described in the MM's text as "Sky Titans" because of being originally created by the giant gods as servants for giants, but don't have the titan tag in their stat block.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That's an interesting note about Rocs, good find. I wonder why they don't have that tag? Maybe they weren't considered high enough CR for the titan tag? Not that I expect you to answer that, of course; this is just speculative. \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Jun 12 at 7:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS well, my guess at the rationale is that the original rocs would probably be categorised as titans, but their descendants many generations removed don't have that divine connection. All the other titans described are only one step removed from actual deities - either as recent creations (some Empyreans, presumably) or ancient ones (krakens, tarrasque). \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Jun 12 at 7:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm, this answer raises another question about using Titans as Warlock Patrons, which for some reason I think got addressed in XGtE for Celestial Warlocks, but at the moment I can't find the text. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 12 at 12:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ I found it, but the term "titan" isn't used. Your patron is a powerful being of the Upper Planes. You have bound yourself to an ancient Empyrean, solar, Ki-rin, Unicorn, or other entity that resides in the planes of everlasting bliss. Your pact with that being allows you to experience the barest touch of the holy light that illuminates the multiverse \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 12 at 12:19

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